National Security Strategy not addressing the difficult questions
The report of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy (of which I am a member) has just been published.
Its key findings are that:
- There is no evidence that the NSS has influenced decisions made since the Strategic Defence and Security Review. If the current strategy is not guiding choices then it needs to be revised.
- There should be an “overarching strategy”, a document designed to guide government decision-making and crisis management both at home and on the international stage.
- The Government’s assertion that there will be no reduction in the UK’s influence on the world stage is “wholly unrealistic in the medium to long term” and the UK needs to plan for a changing, and more partnership-dependent, role in the world.
The Committee also expressed concern about the operation of the National Security Council concluding that it did not operate always at an appropriately “broad and strategic” level. For example, it became deeply involved in essentially operational issues during the operations in Libya. Moreover, it failed to consider the national security implications of the Eurozone crisis or the possibility of Scottish independence.